Virginia Food Distribution Commodity Processing Program
Virginia's Food Distribution Program offers further processing for many USDA commodities such as cheese, fruits, meats and poultry. The option is offered to public schools as an alternative to receiving the products directly from USDA. Approximately thirty percent of Virginia's commodities are sent to processors.
The State Processing Program allows raw commodities to be turned into more convenient ready-to-use end products. By participating in the State Processing Program, State distributing agencies and recipient agencies find that they can:
- Stretch their commodity dollars by ordering lower-cost bulk products (for example the cost of bulk chicken vs chicken fajita);
- Increase their variety of foods;
- Reduce labor costs and cash outlays for food preparation;
- Provide more servings per pound of commodity ordered
- Decrease cost of products already purchased through commercial market.
Processors must meet both Federal and State guidelines plus show marketability to Virginia public schools in order to participate in Virginia's processing program. The processors are monitored at the state level on a monthly basis to ensure that the recipients receive the proper commodity value pass through from use of the commodities. Virginia allows several distribution options for processors to pass the commodity savings onto the schools.
- Rebate: commercial product is purchased through the schools choice of distributor. The commodity value is sent to the school by check (rebate).
- Direct Discount: chosen end product is sent directly to the school warehouse with the discount already applied to the bill.
- Fee for Service: product is sent to the state contracted distributor. The school is billed the discounted price from the processor, and the distribution fee from the distributor.
Virginia uses the ECOS method to communicate with the schools what options are available for processing. Once the raw pounds are put into ECOS with the desired processor, the state submits the order to USDA. The raw commodities are then sent to the processors, who in turn produce the desired end product to be sent to distributors or directly to the school.
The following links identify the current approved processors of USDA donated foods for Virginia public schools. If you click on the processor name link, your screen will display the raw products each processor accepts for processing, the finished products that can be produced by that processor and sufficient information for public schools to make informed decisions about further processed commodities. Contact names, brokers and servings per unit are also included to help you make informed decisions. Altogether these links compose the current Food Distribution Program Processing Catalog.
Any questions on Virginia's State Processing Program call 804.786.0665.
Click here to view the USDA's State Processing Handbook and the Audit Guide for Multi-State Processors. You can also find links on this page that take you to Frequently Asked Questions on commodity processing and Fact Sheets about commodity processing plus other useful pages.
Processing Catalog 2012-2013
Updated March 2013